If my father passed 5 years ago, am I legally entitled to a part of it?

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If my father passed 5 years ago, am I legally entitled to a part of it?

My stepmother by her own admission did not probate the Will. Now after 4 years of asking for a copy I was given one 2 days ago. Am I legally entitled to 1/3 (I have a half-brother) of the estate at the time of my father’s death or split up at today’s amounts?

Asked on June 9, 2013 under Estate Planning, Ohio

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss ad for the issues involved here.  The wishes of a party are spelled out in a WIll. And so the general rule is that if there is a Will then it must be probated.  If your step mother did not probate the WIll then I would speak with an attorney about either forcing her to do so or stepping up and doing it yourself.  Now, you would need the original unless you can verify the copy and ask the court to accept it (this is very hard).  The value and division of the estate will be stated in the Will so it is hard to determine what the split will be.  Also remember that anything that was jointly owned at the time of your Father's death went directly to your step Mother.  That is not included in the estate to be divided.  ANd any asset that has a designation of beneficiary form passes directly as well (like life insurance proceeds).  Good luck.  


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